Busia county needs 50,000 litres of milk a day but only produces 30,000 and imports from Uganda and neighbouring counties.
To increase production, the Busia government has partnered with the International Livestock Research Institute to improve breeding.
The sector also needs better feeding, health and livestock management. It has the potential to build a commercial diary sector.
Representatives of ILRI and Busia county met on Monday last week at the Busia Agricultural Training Centre to form technical working groups. They will develop a blueprint to improve dairy production.
Busia was represented by Deputy Governor Moses Mulomi, Agricultural executive Moses Osia, chief officer Richard Achiambo and county director of veterinary services Allan Ogendo. ILRI was represented by principal scientist Okeyo Mwai and James Rao.
Okeyo said the strategy will increase production for local consumption and export.
“Counties including Kisumu, Migori and Busia have the potential to develop a viable commercial dairy sector. They need to improve breeding strategies to provide better dairy animals through artificial insemination and other support schemes,” he said.
Mulomi said inappropriate feeding lowers milk production. “Residents spend Sh75 million per month to import milk from Uganda and neighbouring counties. We should capitalise on subsidised AI services and availabile markets to increase our production,” Osia said.
He said the county has improved semen and availed dairy animals to farmers’ groups across the country. Osia urged farmers to use idle land to plant napier grass and hay for cattle. He said Israel is very dry but it exports milk.